by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Yang Sheng beat Thailand’s Supakron Pankhaoyoy (11-5, 12-10, 11-7, 11-2), Su Zhi accounted for China’s Qiao Junfeng (8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8); likewise, Tananan Tantakool overcame Paris Zonios of Greece (11-9, 11-4, 11-13, 13-11, 11-9), Feng Yi-Hsin defeated Iran’s Amin Miralmasi (12-10, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).
“I’m very happy to get into the main draw stage. Today I had good service returns and I made the right decisions at the right time during my matches.” Tananan Tantakool
Impressive from 18 year old Tananan Tantakool; it was the same from a player of the same age. Frenchmen Bastien Rembert, unbeaten the previous day, concluded his group phase matches with success against Korea’s Chae Byeonguk (11-13, 3-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7).
“I had a tough start because his defence was so effective. I hit many balls into the net. After I was able to adjust and make more spin, so I was able to turn the game around. I’m feeling quite upbeat. It’s been a great start to this tournament.” Bastien Rembert
Top place for two teenagers against the odds; it was the same for one more. Nine days after his 16th birthday, Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, hitherto unbeaten, accounted for Korea’s Hwang Min the secure an unexpected first place (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6).
“At first I was really controlling the game but in the middle of game three, he started changing his receives which created some problems for me. Finally in games five and six I was able to adjust to his receives and win. My opponent also had a very strong attack so I tried to stay aggressive and make the first attack. I think this helped me to win the match.” Pang Yew En Koen
Young players in form, it was the same for Japan’s Hibiki Tazoe and India’s Sushmit Sriram; likewise both topped their groups contrary to predictions.
Play in the main draw commences on Friday 18th May.